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It's all over, but no declaration until next week

Former member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly announcing his defeat to the Federal Election.

Former member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly announcing his defeat to the Federal Election. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

The declaration of the ballot for the tightly fought electorate of Eden-Monaro is being pushed back to next week.

The decision by the Australian Electoral Commission due to the narrow margin between the two main candidates means Liberal Peter Hendy will have to wait until Monday at the earliest to be formally declared the winner of the bellwether seat.

Labor's Mike Kelly has conceded defeat after Labor suffered a swing of almost 5 per cent against it in the electorate.

Liberal candidate, Peter Hendy.

Liberal candidate, Peter Hendy. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

''Shut down the office today, watched the signs come down, said adieu to the team, drove home in the grey sad rain,'' Dr Kelly tweeted this week.

Mr Hendy has not claimed victory despite maintaining a narrow lead as counting of votes continues.

By Thursday the commission had counted almost 94 per cent of the votes.

Mr Hendy had 50.62 per cent of the vote, on a two-candidate preferred basis, to 49.38 per cent to Dr Kelly.

The commission said 1099 envelopes containing postal or pre-poll votes remained to be counted.

The deadline for receiving postal votes is Friday's mail.

Divisional returning officer for Eden-Monaro Pat Satie said he was receiving a steady stream of mail containing absent and pre-poll votes which had been cast in various parts of Australia.

''The receipt of postal votes closes tomorrow and because of the difference between the two major candidates, my state office has advised that I should wait at least until tomorrow to do the final count,'' he said.

''Then I will apply to state office to hold the declaration of the poll but it won't be tomorrow. My best estimate would be early next week.''

Dr Kelly, the former Minister for Defence Materiel, is being urged to put up his hand for the Senate vacancy expected to be created by the resignation of former foreign minister Bob Carr.

He is being promoted as a ''good fit'' for the Senate where he would be able to debate directly with the new Defence Minister David Johnston.

On Thursday the nominal front runner, union boss Paul Howes, ruled himself out of the position.

''I do not want to be the type of person in this movement who destructs, who divides because of my own personal ambition,'' he said. ''Therefore I think it's in the interest of the movement that someone else takes that spot when it comes up.''

Dr Kelly was unavailable for comment.

He is a former army officer and was the Member for Eden-Monaro for six years.

If he entered the Senate on a casual vacancy, he could set up an electorate office again in Queanbeyan and help Labor's campaigns in Eden-Monaro, Hume and Gilmore.

In that case, he may then decide to leave the Senate at the next election to contest Eden-Monaro again.

 

39 comments

  • He was voted out of office.He shouldn't get a free ride into the Senate.
    What do you think the voters of Eden-Monaro who didn't vote for him would think? Jobs for Labors boys club!!!

    Commenter
    Mary
    Location
    Queanbeyan
    Date and time
    September 19, 2013, 12:29PM
    • So, who should Labor put in, in place? A union official who's never been subjected to an election? A random person off the street? You?

      Commenter
      Xavier
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 12:53PM
    • Agreed. No backdoor entry allowed. Besides Labour needs some fresh members not some old stooges who couldn't hold onto their seats.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 12:54PM
    • Not long before the right wing nasties come out to play.

      Eden-Monaro is a famously marginal seat. Mike Kelly was widely regarded as a very good member and a good Minister. We talk about the need for the best people to be in Parliament and yet we have the snarky comments like your one Mary - motivated by tribal hatred.

      What will you say if Tony gives a nice little giftie to his best mate Sophie - who was dramatically and very personally repudiated by the voters in her seat? I bet it won't be similar.

      Commenter
      JB
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 12:57PM
    • The same thing they thought when they didn't vote for him in Eden-Moarono. Still they'll have to suck it up if it happens, senators are voted in by your state not your electorate.

      Commenter
      ekib
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 1:02PM
    • Mary you are so correct Carr was bad enough but this has been ex Army officer is the same. He was kicked out by his voters in Eden-Monaro he shouldn't get another go so sad too bad. Keep walking and don't let the door hit you on the arse going out.

      Commenter
      Wayne
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 1:07PM
    • Mary, the constitution explicitly states that the senate spot has to be filled by somebody from the Labor party. I think better an apparantly well liked local member than a union hack.

      Commenter
      Alex
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 1:10PM
    • So typical of Labor, just goes to prove they have learn't nothing for Labor wipeouts in Queensland or NSW , just more jobs for the boys

      Commenter
      Job for the Labor hacks
      Location
      Not in the real world
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 2:32PM
    • @Wayne. I think that door already swung and smacked you in the head. Mike Kelly has done more in his life than the vast majority of MPs of either party. Plus his family have been in the region for over 150 years. You can't get much more local than that. He is neither a party hack nor lawyer nor ex-union official (which would be what the majority of MPs are). He did well in his portfolio and deserves better than trite little snipes from random coalition supporters.

      Commenter
      Another clueless conservative
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 3:04PM
    • It wouldn't be a free ride into the Senate. Technically Senators are appointed by State Governors. In the case of a casual vacancy the State Parliament votes on a replacement (which is technically a recommendation to the Governor), however the Constitution requires that casual vacancies must be filled by somebody from the same party.

      Commenter
      Grant
      Date and time
      September 19, 2013, 3:07PM

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